In all relationships, as in marriage, including our marriage to Christ, forgiveness may be granted.
Yet, without true repentance, there can be no reconciliation.
While God is always ready to forgive, God requires true repentance for there to be peace between Him and the guilty: at-one-ment. There must be godly sorrow for sin—not sorrow for having been caught, not sorrow only because of the consequences. Likewise, we who are God’s require true repentance for reconciliation with each other. All the while, however, the forgiver must show he or she is maintaining bowels of mercies.
True. It can only happen by the power of God. And it is only by our faith in God’s power that we can receive God’s grace—that divine influence upon the heart or mind and reflected in the life—to live by His Word. By grace, indeed, are we saved by faith. And even that is the gift of God.
So repentance is a requirement for reconciliation. It is a two-sided transaction. While forgiveness can be extended by only one party, at least two must agree to reconcile. True reconciliation can only be reached following true repentance.
Christ the Word is our Example. As we learn of God through hearing and doing His Word, we experience true repentance. We see and acknowledge the error of our ways. We confess and yearn for complete change—a new beginning. True repentance and forgiveness is granted and generate a deeper experience in the love of God, from which a wellspring of joy and peace erupts in the life. The relationship breathes newness. The whole soul is washed pure and clean and is refreshed by the Word. Such is the life that reveals a sanctified marriage with God.
By it, we receive a growing bond of trust. By it, the life becomes one of loving and faithful service for the benefit of the other party. Forgiveness received, true repentance is the key to lifelong reconciliation. Atonement is achieved. As it is unto God, so it is in marriage and in all relationships. By this we shall know and experience vibrant relationships and the kind of sanctified marriage put together by God, which no man can put asunder.